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Sunflowers are very hardy but they are thirsty flowers and drink a lot of water. When selecting sunflowers, look for strong, straight stems, perky flowers that look at you and good green foliage, as these are all signs of healthy flowers. • Select a vase of sufficient size and depth to support the stems and the flower’s weighty heads. • Remove the leaves that will fall below the waterline. • Cut the flower stems under water, at an angle. • Place flowers into... Read more
• The most familiar sunflower is Helianthus annuus (from the Greek words helios, meaning “sun,” anthos, meaning “flower,” and annus, meaning “year”). • The genus Helianthus contains about 67 species and is native to the Americas. More than 60 sunflower species grow in the United States. • Sunflower plants were domesticated around 1,000 B.C. by western Native American tribes, who then carried them eastward and southward. The plants were used extensively for food,... Read more
For more than 38 years sunflower geneticist Tom Heaton has been researching, testing and developing ornamental sunflowers. His breeding, production, and wholesale company, NuFlowers LLC in Woodland, CA, is one of the larger producers and suppliers of ornamental sunflower seeds in the United States. It is also the only company to offer the single-head, red-petal sunflower called ProCut Red, a real breeding breakthrough, according to Heaton.. “Olga [Heaton’s wife]... Read more
“I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.” — Vincent van Gogh Sunflowers bear a striking resemblance to their namesake and they are considered one of the happiest of flowers. They exemplify sunshine, they uplift spirits, and they evoke feelings of cheerfulness, warmth and joy. Sunflowers have inspired artists for centuries with their natural... Read more
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” — Helen Keller Sunflowers display heliotropic movement in their early development stage, the bud stage, before the appearance of flower heads. This sun tracking motion from east to west helps with photosynthesis through chlorophyll in their leaves, gives the plant energy, increases pollen development and germination, and results in the uniform alignment of the flowers. They... Read more
They softly light up the environment and have the appearance of colorful, glowing orbs. Lite-a-Loon LED balloons, 11-inch latex balloons with a battery-powered LED light inside, were recently introduced to the U.S. market by burton + BURTON in Bogart, GA. “The initial launch of the Lite-a-Loon has been great,” Steve Rose, media and communications manager for burton + BURTON, told The Produce News. “Everyone who sees them instantly starts thinking of ways to use... Read more
Floral farmers usually concentrate solely on growing flowers, but Kendall Farms in Fallbrook, CA, is an exception to that norm. The Southern California wholesaler, well-nown for its sunflowers, has 500 acres of land for flower growing, but Kendall Farms also dedicates a few acres each year to growing produce that is used to help those in the community. Troy Conner, general manager of Kendall Farms, told The Produce News that the idea to grow produce came to him... Read more
You can now surprise your party guests, event attendees or even trick-or-treaters with glow-in-the-dark fresh flowers. After years of research, a Dutch flower company, Vip Roses, has created the first cut flowers that give off light in the darkness and their vase life has not been adversely affected, according to a news release. Fresh-cut roses and chrysanthemums are treated with a chemical glow topping that is reported to be safe for people, plants, pets and the... Read more
For the past 50 years, a fresh Christmas tree has been displayed on the west front lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, during the holiday season. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with Choose Outdoors and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, will bring a whopping 80-foot-plus white spruce from the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota to Washington, DC, for the 2014 season, it was announced in a news release. The search for the Capitol Christmas Tree began... Read more
Trees for Troops hopes to deliver 18,000 free, fresh Christmas trees this year with a majority of those going to military families stationed at military installations across the United States. The deliveries will take place at 60-plus bases and units around the world, covering every branch of the armed services, according to a news release. Rick Dungey, public relations manager at Trees for Troops in Chesterfield, MO, told The Produce News that the first year of... Read more
Based in Twello, the Netherlands, Schoneveld Breeding, a specialist in flowering pot plants with 35 percent of the world market for Cyclamen, won the International Grower of the Year award during a gala dinner at the 66th annual conference of the Association of Horticultural Producers in Qingdao, China, Sept. 17. AIPH president, Vic Krahn and the China Flower Association secretary general, Liu Hong, presented the Golden Rose Trophy to Schoneveld Breeding. “There... Read more
In the 21-year history of the Floral Management Marketer of the Year Award, no farmer has ever won it. That all changed on Aug. 15 at the 130th annual Society of American Florists convention in Marco Island, FL, when Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata, CA, was presented with the coveted title for its tireless efforts on building awareness and demand for Women’s Day. “This is not about Sun Valley,” Lane DeVries, chief executive officer of the company said in his... Read more
The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers 2014 National Conference Oct. 19-22 in Newark, DE, Growers’ School, banquet and tour have all sold out, but there are still spaces available in the educational sessions on Oct. 20-21 and also in the post-conference tours on Oct. 23 at North Creek Nurseries in Landenberg, PA, Lilies and Lavender farm and design studio in Doylestown, PA, and Barefoot Gardens in Doylestown, PA. The conference educational sessions schedule... Read more
The fifth edition of the International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair will be held Nov. 5-7 at Expo Haarlemmermeer in Vijfhuizen, Holland, and exhibit space is fully booked plus there is a waitlist, according to an HPP Exhibitions news release, the expo’s organizers. The IFTF is an industrywide event serving all segments of the floriculture and horticulture trades. Exhibitor interest was unexpectedly high this year and organizers are scrambling to create... Read more
October is Fair Trade Month, a national, annual campaign to bring awareness about why every purchase matters. The Fair Trade Certified label represents products that are both socially and environmentally sustainable. Jenna Larson, public relations manager at Fair Trade USA in Oakland, CA, told The Produce News that consumers are looking to make a difference with their purchases and over 55 percent of the U.S. population today is aware of the Fair Trade Certified... Read more
Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — is a religious and cultural event observed in Mexico, and regions with large Hispanic populations, which can be traced back to pre-Columbian, Aztec festivals for the goddess of the underworld. The annual holiday custom has now spread throughout the world, begins Oct. 31, ends Nov. 2, and starts with the gathering of goods to be offered to the dead. Graves are decorated, altars are created, and food is prepared for loved ones... Read more
A group of concerned floral industry veterans announced in a news release that they are forming a new trade association, the Flower Handling Association of North America. According to a statement from Flower Handling Association of North America Organizing Committee Chairman and spokesman Terry Johnson, “Our mission will be to develop, implement and monitor flower handling standards designed to improve consumer satisfaction with their flower purchases.” FHANA’s... Read more
The American Floral Endowment announced in a news release the appointments of new leaders at the Aug. 14 annual fundraising dinner: • Chairman. Gabriel Becerra, president of Golden Flowers in Miami, FL, begins his role as chairman after eight years as a trustee. In his new role, Becerra will spearhead AFE’s efforts to advance the floral industry through research, scholarships and educational grants. • Treasurer-Secretary-Elect. Charles Kremp of Kremp Florist in... Read more
Thomas Butler, chairman of Teleflora, died Aug. 14 after battling cancer, according to a news release. Butler joined American Floral Services, based in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1985 as executive vice president and then became the company’s president. In 2000, he led the merger of AFS and Teleflora, and then became its chairman. A statement issued by Teleflora read in part, “For many who knew Tom, he was considered to be the ‘Chief Champion of Florists’ — always there... Read more
It’s said that the first step in rallying a large group of people toward one single goal is to define a common ground.   During the month of October, breast cancer awareness is the one common ground that is at the forefront of the industry’s promotional efforts. Beginning with the supply of products, through the promotional materials and on to our individual sales teams, there is not one other single promotion that touches the emotions of our customers as... Read more